The Metchosin Foundation is a registered charity under the BC Societies Act, charitable status number 8156 1556 RR0001.
Metchosin Foundation Board of Directors
Christ Pratt, Chair
Chris’s family roots in Metchosin go back to 1925. He entered the Royal Canadian Naval College (now Royal Roads University) in 1942, the year it opened. He saw service at sea during the Second World War and made the Navy his career. Having had several commands both at sea and ashore, he retired with the rank of Captain in 1978, when he returned to his home in Metchosin. Before retirement he was awarded the Order of Military Merit.
He has always remained active in administrative roles, in Nova Scotia he was involved in rural municipal planning. He has served as Chair of the Halifax Diocesan Pastoral Council, an administrator at the University of Victoria, Special Assistant to the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera Association in New York and as chair or a member of several municipal committees in Metchosin.
In 2001 he was recognized as Metchosin’s Volunteer of the Year. He is a Patron of the L.B. Pearson College of the Pacific and a Younger Brother of Trinity House, the British Lighthouse Service. He is a strong supporter of opportunities for young people and he works actively for the preservation of Metchosin as a rural community.
Chris is married with four adult children and seven grandchildren.
Joel Ussery, Vice Chair
Joel graduated from the SFU School of Resource & Environmental Management in 1997. His masters project was entitled “Managing Invasive Plant Species in Garry Oak Meadow Vegetation Communities: A Case Study of Scotch Broom”. Joel has since worked with CRD Parks as Project Manager and is now the Manager of Resource Planning for CRD Water.
Joel has also participating in creating the Green and Blue Spaces Strategy for the District of Metchosin, volunteered with the Pony Club, helped remove broom from Devonian Regional Park and helped organise the 2014 Metchosin BioBlitz. Joel is married with one daughter.
Carol Carman, Past Chair
Carol is a communications professional who has lived in Metchosin for the past 24 years. From 1989 to 2006, she directed communications for many of BC’s major government ministries including Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the full range of social services including Children and Family Development, Health, Human Resources, Housing, the Attorney General and Multiculturalism. In those various roles, she has been privileged to focus at an executive level on many of the most challenging issues facing this province.
Carol lived and worked in New Zealand between 1981 and 1986. Prior to that, she owned and operated Yellowhead Cattle Company near Lloydminster, Alberta where she raised pedigreed cattle and offered consultant and sales management services to breeders across North America. She holds a B.Sc. degree from the University of Alberta.
From her Helix Communications office on Happy Valley Road, Carol continues to develop communications strategies that affect a range of complex, multi-dimensional issues in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Carol is married to Milton Carman and has two adult daughters, Tara and Shannon.
Nicole Lalonde, Treasurer
My passion for healthy living began in 1979 when I travelled across Canada and met my husband. I had found a soul and travelling mate and moving to BC became inevitable. Together we zigzagged across four continents and it was during one such journey that I was introduced to alternative healing modalities. On my return home I moved to Victoria to study and earn the degree of Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Although the principles learned never materialized into a profession, they have been a beacon by which I make all my decisions in terms of health and well being. My personal philosophy of a healthy mind within a healthy body is deeply rooted and it has expanded further to include a healthy community.
It was this simple realization that inspired our move to Metchosin in 1999 to raise our family. As I pondered the true meaning of this statement it became clear to me that the health of a community can be defined by the level of engagement from its active population. Thus began my relationship with volunteerism, first with Victoria Hospice, then with the Metchosin Community Association. In 2017 my husband Ric and I were awarded the Metchosin Volunteer of the Year award.
Over the years living in this community I have witnessed and admired the dedication of all its volunteer organizations but none more important than the Metchosin Foundation whose mission statement of Healthy Lands Healthy Waters and Healthy Community resonates most profoundly with my own life’s pursuits.
My professional experience is in business administration. I have been instrumental in growing a small successful business and transferred my skills to the local community association as treasurer for 6 years. I bring the same level of expertise and dedication to the Metchosin Foundation.
Beverly Hall, Secretary
Bev Hall moved to Metchosin in 1970 and for several years was involved with the Metchosin Hall Committee and Pony Club. She served on the Metchosin Environmental Advisory Select Committee (MEASC) for five years and received the Friends of the Earth award in 2014.
After completing a B.Sc. at the University of Victoria, Bev worked as a lab instructor and research assistant, first at UVic and then at Royal Roads Military College until it closed. At the new Royal Roads University, she worked as the laboratory instructor for the Environmental Science Program, and then in Human Resources and the Office of Research. Since retiring, she has enjoyed travelling and learning to paraglide
A keen photographer, with her partner Maurice Robinson, Bev produced two coffee table books; one to celebrate Royal Roads Military College and one on Hatley Park. She has also produced photo note cards of Metchosin for many years.
Beverley has one daughter and two grandchildren.
Jacqueline Clare, Director
Jacqueline Clare graduated from The University of Victoria in 2015 with a M.Sc. in Geography. Her research focused on the resident gray whale population in Clayoquot Sound, analyzing the influence of maternal learning on genetic differentiation at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Her primary research interests include ecology, resource management, GIS and cartography, and the effect of scale on the interpretation of spatio-temporal phenomena. She currently works for the Provincial government in the Ministry of Environment where she manages ecosystem data. She enjoys being outside playing soccer, running, hiking, and gardening.
Kem Luther, Director
Kem Luther has lived in Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Ontario. He and his musician wife, Jeanne, moved to Metchosin in 2005.
Now retired, Kem is a writer, an avid gardener, and a volunteer with several organizations, including the Metchosin Foundation, the Metchosin Biodiversity Project, the CRD, and the Southern Vancouver Island Mycological Society. He often gives lectures to/does guided walks for local natural history groups.
Before his retirement Kem was a college/university teacher and administrator. He was the first Dean of the Communication, Culture, and Information Technology program, a joint venture between the University of Toronto and Sheridan College that now enrolls a thousand students.
Kem studied and taught philosophy for many years (Ph.D., University of Chicago). After moving to Canada in 1981, he switched fields, becoming a Professor of Computer Science at Ontario’s Sheridan College (M.Sc., ABD University of Toronto).
Several of Kem’s writing projects have been published as books.
Mike Fischer, Director
Mike grew up in Saanich (Strawberry Vale), spending much of his time out enjoying the unique natures of Southern Vancouver Island, hiking and skiing in the mountains up-island, and boating the Gulf Islands and Clayoquot Sound for summer holidays.
After graduating with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at UVic in 2001, Mike moved away for four years to pursue career opportunities in instrumentation research and development for astronomy. He returned to Southern Vancouver Island in 2005 to do a M.Sc. in mechanical engineering, and over this period came to recognize the many big problems that need solving here on Earth, and changed his professional focus to energy systems and sustainability.
Mike was also motivated to achieve a more balanced and sustainable lifestyle personally, and soon became involved in issues of local planning, food security, and resilience. In 2008, he was fortunate to be able to purchase land in Metchosin to start the hobby farm and low-impact lifestyle that was his dream. In 2010, he co-founded a technology start-up in high efficiency LED lighting while working on his M.Sc. in computer science and farming part time.
Mike served for four years on the Strawberry Vale Residents Association, dealing with issues of land use and permitting, traffic and emergency planning. He has been an active members of the Metchosin community, participating in the farmers’ market for two years, then serving on the Metchosin Environmental Advisory Select Committee (MEASC) since 2010.
Morgan Yates, Director
As a recent (November 2016) resident of Methchosin, I feel honoured to be included in the 2018 roster of potential Directors for the Metchosin Foundation. The Foundation’s website byline “HEALTHY LANDS, HEALTHY WATERS AND A HEALTHY, CARING COMMUNITY” corresponds strongly with my values, my past experience in community work and my aspirations for the future of Metchosin.
I believe strongly that a diverse, sustainable and caring community is dependent upon a healthy natural environment – and that a healthy natural environment is reciprocally dependent upon a vital and engaged community where stewardship values are part of community identity.
My appreciation for natural history and the environment began early, as a free-range kid growing up on the forested and farm-dotted perimeter of Greater Vancouver. My appreciation for community health and development arose a couple of decades later, commencing with a move to rural Costa Rica in the early 1990’s and volunteer work within a project that was inspired by the Brundtland Report (Our Common Future) and its call to carefully integrate and balance social, environmental and economic dimensions in sustainable development planning. I have had the privilege of being a multi-term Director on two different inner city community association boards in Calgary and a past Director of the Shell Canada BC & Yukon Region Environment Fund. In 2013, following several years of work at the interface between corporate and Indigenous community interests, I was named as an honorary elder of the Blackfoot Nation.
I have a degree in Applied Science (Chemical Engineering) from UBC. My current hobbies include going for walks on Metchosin’s great network of trails and restoring a small Garry oak ecosystem surrounding our home.